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The Dragon's Den

Author: Will

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A podcast for those that bleed green and gold. In every episode I interview former UAB athletes to talk about their time at UAB, their big game memories and where they are now! Not produced or affiliated with the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Music: Climb by Shane Ivers and Beat Symphony by Shane Ivers,
18 Episodes
Join me as I talk with former UAB offensive lineman Matt McCants! Matt went from playing the tuba in the high school marching band through his junior year to playing football his senior season and playing well enough to get a scholarship at UAB. Five years later he's playing in the NFL. Matt shares his awesome story about how playing in the band helped him playing football, his time at UAB with his great teammates, his experience playing pro football in the NFL, AAF, and XFL, and his life now! Be sure to stick around until the end for the sixth edition of This Week in Blazer History with Steve Rutherford. We did have some audio problems, so if you hear them, I apologize! Be sure to check out my social pages @DragonsDenEFEL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Go Blazers!
This week I combine my last two planned This Week In Blazer History segments for one postseason special episode. UAB has a rich history in basketball and this episode recaps great wins like UAB's first NCAA tournament win over WKU, UAB's win over Kentucky's "Twin Towers" Sam Bowie and Melvin Turpin in 1981, UAB's win over 1 seed Virginia led by Ralph Sampson in 1982, the win over Alabama (UAT) in 1993, and others! Fantastic game recaps gathered by longtime UAB fan Steve Rutherford! Also stick around until the end to find out about my Friday Giveaway coming up next Friday, March 26. Be sure to follow me on social media @DragonsDenEFEL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Go Blazers!
Nick Vogel had what a pretty abnormal college career. After not receiving much recruiting in high school, he walked on at UAB. Then the program shut down. Then he came back when they announced the team was coming back even though he didn't know what would happen in the future of UAB football AND he had a scholarship at Southern Miss. His loyalty brought him home. Hear Nick's stories about his time at UAB as the program was rebuilt completely from scratch. "Vogeltron" also dives into his friendships with former teammates Lee Dufour and Ty Long, his technique as a kicker, and some of his favorite off the field memories as a UAB student athlete. Be sure to follow the Dragon's Den (@DragonsDenEFEL) on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! 
For this episode I'm joined by UAB super fan Dave West. A native of nearby Morris, Alabama, Dave has Birmingham in his blood and is well known around the UAB fanbase from his twitter accounts and his time writing for the Daily Dragon. Dave is a great guy with great knowledge of UAB athletics and the city of Birmingham. Re-live some of his glorious, and some infamous, moments as a Blazer fan. Be sure to stick around until the end for my second volume of This Week in Blazer History and find out what exciting moments happened this week in UAB athletics history! All stats and facts gathered by Steve Rutherford (@MemphisBlazer on Twitter)! Also be sure to follow my social pages @DragonsDenEFEL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Thanks for listening!
Join me as I talk with former UAB basketball forward Frank Haywood! Frank was known for his tenacity and hard defense on the hardwood for the Blazers. Frank gives very detailed stories about his time at UAB that included playing with former greats like Andy Kennedy, Stanley Jackson, and Elbert Rogers among others. He also gives great insight into big wins over Memphis, who was led by Penny Hardaway, and of course Alabama in the NIT in 1993. Frank is hilarious and adds a lot of color to his stories from back in the early 1990s. Stick around until the end and check out my new segment "This Week in Blazer History" with longtime UAB fan Steve Rutherford supplying some of the most notable events from this week in UAB history. Thanks for listening! Be sure to follow the Dragon's Den on social media @DragonsDenEFEL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Go Blazers! 
"They fake it to Elliot, Hackney stepping up and Hackney tucking and OH WHAT A STIFF ARM! GET AWAY! LIKE A LITTLE FLY!". "He's shaking his head right now saying 'there will be none of that!'... Some quarterbacks get away from pressure like Doug Flutie, Hackney gets away from pressure like GODZILLA!" The Blazer faithful remember that night against TCU very well in 2004 and to the rest of the nation they were introduced to the Godzilla himself, Mr. Darrell Hackney. Join me as I go back in time with Darrell and talk about some of his greatest games, his favorite memories playing UAB, his friendships with former teammates, and see how the big man is doing now! You will never find a man with a higher competitive drive than Darrell Hackney and it shows in the episode! Be sure to follow my social pages @DragonsDenEFEL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you want to see the stiff arm again (and why wouldn't you), the link is below! Thanks for listening! Go Blazers!
Join me as I talk with former UAB football kicker Rhett Gallego. Many of you know Rhett as the man who made "The Kick" to defeat the LSU Tigers, coached by Nick Saban, by a final of 13-10. Rhett and I discuss his time at UAB, the LSU game details, his friendships with former teammates at UAB and the Birmingham Steeldogs, and his life now! It's an awesome episode with a lot of great info and even a flashback at the beginning with the call from the legendary radio broadcaster Gary Sanders. Thanks for listening! If you haven't checked out my social pages, go like or follow now! The Dragon's Den is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the handle @DragonsDenEFEL. Go Blazers!
Join me as I talk with UAB athletics PA announcer Derek Scudder! Derek is in his 35th season doing PA announcing for the UAB basketball team, has been calling the UAB football games since the club football days, and is the current announcer for the Birmingham Barons. Derek has been around the block in the Birmingham sports and media/broadcasting industry and has a lot of stories to share! Hope you enjoy!Due to some technical difficulties the audio may not come through as clear as normal, sorry in advance! If you haven't checked out my social media pages, go give me a like or follow! Check out @DragonsDenEFEL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Go Blazers!
Join me as I talk with TWO guests this week! Kristen Gardner is a former UAB cheerleader from 2013-2017 and also worked in the UAB football office from 2017-2018. Jeremy Hawkins is the former UAB Director of Player Personnel and Defensive Analyst for the Blazers from 2015-2018. They are now both working in their respective fields at Eastern Kentucky University. Kristen is the assistant cheer coach, while Jeremy is the defensive line coach. Hear their stories about what means to them, how they have progressed in their career, and find out more about their life now! Due to a technical difficulty, one question was omitted, but I wanted to share her answer. When asked about what it was like as a cheerleader during the UAB football program, Kristen talked about how they were active to get the program back, but they were also active cheering at sports that normally didn't have cheer involved. Sports like baseball and soccer suddenly had cheerleaders and helped spread the Blazer spirit without the presence of the football team. Thanks for listening! Be sure to follow my social pages @DragonsdenEFEL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Go Blazers!
Join me as I talk with former UAB baseball great Shayne Carnes in the eighth episode of the Dragon's Den! Shayne gives a great in depth look at his progress as a player while he was at UAB and how that progress helped him break a multitude of records at UAB, many of which still stand today. Shayne was inducted into the UAB athletics Hall of Fame this week on Wednesday and he talks about the honor to be mentioned among some of UAB's greatest across all sports. You'll also get to learn a little about his life now as the head coach at Mortimer Jordan High School, his time in the minor leagues, and more! Hope you enjoy!Follow the Dragon's Den on social media! @DragonsDenEFEL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
Join me as I talk with former UAB football center Darion Smith who started for two seasons under Neil Callaway. Darion transferred to UAB from Copiah-Lincoln (JUCO) and made a big impact from day one. Darion goes very in-depth  about his times with his former teammates, his growth as a player, he gives a behind the scenes look into what it was like on the field, and he talks about how he's doing in life now! Darion has a fun personality and it was a real pleasure getting to know him and I think you will too! Check him out on social media @theyDREAD75 on Twitter and Instagram, as well as Darion Smith on Facebook. Also follow or like the Dragon's Den on social media @DragonsDenEFEL on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Thanks for listening! Go Blazers
Join me as I talk with former UAB football running back Jegil Dugger! Jegil played for UAB from 1998-2001 and has his name in several top 10 rushing records at UAB! Jegil was apart of the team that went down to Baton Rouge and defeated the LSU Tigers and he breaks down that game in great detail! Jegil also talks about some of the great players he played alongside like Bryan Thomas, Rhett Gallego, Eddie Freeman, Roddy White, Willie Quinnie, and more! Jegil also talks about his two tech companies and how they are both helping during the COVID-19 pandemic! The episode did run a little long, but trust me you will want to hear some of his great stories about his time in the backfield with the Blazers! Thanks for listening!Be sure to follow The Dragon's Den on social media @DragonsDenEFEL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! More exciting former UAB athletes (and even coaches) coming soon!
Join me as I talk with Wanda Hightower, a true legend in UAB athletics history. Wanda owns the women's basketball record books and was the first UAB athlete to have a jersey retired in any sport. Coming from Memphis, Tennessee, Wanda grew up playing basketball and committed to UAB before the program had even played a single game! It was great to get to know about her basketball career, learn about UAB's history in its first years of athletic existence, and get to know about her life now! I hope you enjoy the episode! Thanks for listening!Follow my social pages @DragonsDenEFEL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for episode updates and participate in posts! Go Blazers!
Join me in this "superfan" episode as I talk with UAB marching band legend Jesse Taylor. Jesse went to UAB from 2004-2012 playing in the marching band and pep band as well as his time as the drum major. Jess is now the marching band director at Gardendale High School. Hear his stories from his time as a student, to being on the band staff during the football program shutdown, and now his life in Gardendale and as the screaming superfan we all know on gamedays. Hope you enjoy!
Join host Will Harris as he talks with a very familiar Blazer face, former football center Lee Dufour. Lee played for the Blazers in 2014, then due to the program shutting down, left for South Alabama only to return less than 7 months later to rejoin the Blazers after the announcement of the program's return. Lee was a leader on the offense for the 2017-2019 seasons. Lee talks about the odyssey of his football career, his personal memories at UAB like his friendship with kicker Nick Vogel, and where he is now! If you are a true college football fan and loved the story of UAB football's rise from the ashes, you will want to hear this episode! Listen till the end to find out how about my FridayGiveaway this Friday (Sept. 4th) social media! Thanks for listening!
Join me as I talk with UAB baseball legend Ryan Keedy who started at first base for the Blazers in 2007-2008. Ryan holds several batting records for UAB baseball and is in the top 10 in even more! Ryan discusses everything from playing baseball for his dad, to his time at UAB, and his life now as the Gardendale High School baseball coach. Hope you enjoy it! Go Blazers! 
In episode 1, I talk with former UAB basketball guard Morris "Mo" Finley, the man that sends shivers down the spine of all Kentucky Wildcat fans! Mo and I talk about his time at UAB, his favorite memories, his life now, and take your questions from social media! This episode ran a little longer than expected, but I think you'll enjoy Mo's stories! I apologize for any static heard in the episode, I'm still working out the kinks with my call software. Stay up to date with the latest news on the podcast and find out who my next guest will be in Episode 2 by following/liking the Dragon's Den on Facebook and Twitter @DragonsDenEFEL. Go Blazers!
Introduction Episode

Introduction Episode


In this intro episode I break down what to expect about the podcast and let you know a little bit about myself. No guest in this episode, but my Episode 1 guest is sure to get your attention. Thanks for listening! Go Blazers
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